Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Arts Council Grants Cuts

Arts Council Cuts Grants to The Drill Hall Theatre & Queer Up North.
Two major bastions of LGBT culture under attack!

LGBT History Month have taken the unprecedented step of sending out a separate mailing about the Arts Council's decision to remove funding from these two vital celebrations of LGBT people’s culture and experience. Both are more than the some total of their parts. They have worked for many years to mainstream the artistic celebration of who we are and have had a profound affect upon how we represent ourselves and how we are seen by others.

The Arts Council's decision is in direct contradiction to its own stated policies, although it is clear from their website that they see their commitment to LGBT equality in the arts as a very low priority.

In our response to the Arts Council LGBT History Month stated: “What we are deeply concerned in respect of this cut is how the Arts Council is meeting its duty under the Single Equality Policy, the Gender Equality Policy and the Social Cohesion Duty.

All Public Bodies, as you must know, have a duty to reflect upon and respond to the 6 strands of equality. The Arts Council states: “By ‘diversity’, we mean that we will respond to issues around race, ethnicity, faith, disability, sexuality, class and economic disadvantage – any social or institutional barriers that prevent people from participating in and enjoying the arts.”

They also say, “The arts have a major part to play in helping to galvanise community engagement and participation in planning, and in creating a sense of identity and pride.”

“I would ask you to discover from the Arts Council how they are going to serve all those tax payers, LGBT and otherwise whose money is funding this work and who wish to see it continue, when they cut these bastions of experience and success.

We request to know, given this decision; how precisely the Arts Council feel they are able to fulfil their legal duties, their own policy duties and their social and cultural obligations in the light of this cut!”

If we do not fight for these LGBT cultural institutions – no one else will. Please access their websites for further information and make your voice heard. This needs to be done swiftly as appeals close at the end of this week.

Save The Drill Hall - www.drillhall.co.uk/p169.html
Save Queer Up North - www.queerupnorth.com/index2.php

Final decisions have yet to be made so your intervention could still make all the difference, although time is running out fast.

Please find your time to offer your support. Messages of support go to different branches of the Arts Council so please make sure you do both!


Anonymous said...

If you have a facebook account then set up a group and ask facebook users to join it. Set one up for each group seperataely or individually and send to everyone.

This normally musters up lots of support.

Ed. said...

I don't know about Queer Up North but I am pretty sure that the Drill Hall have a facebook profile (see link from their site)...